Pharma industry ‘puts profits first’

Pharma firms have come under fire for putting profits before people in a poll of European journalists.

A panel drawn from 15 European Union countries described the drugs industry’s image as ‘poor’ for this reason. Dubious ethics, product-related scandals, and, in the UK, the intensity of the animal-welfare lobby were also cited.

The panel urged the industry to communicate more openly and transparently on the price issue.

The results, unveiled last week by GCI Europe, come as the drugs industry faces increased scrutiny. The panel said that being seen to be ethical and voluntarily disclosing errors would help in restoring public trust.

GCI Europe healthcare president Mark Forbes Irving said journalists ‘misjudged’ the industry owing to a ‘lack of knowledge’.

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